Opened by mags4dorset’s editor, Janine Pulford, the MS Society’s summer garden party at the Osborne Centre on 27 July was a huge success.
Raising over £3,600, the event included the head shave of 10-year-old Ethan Tanner. His father Nick handled the clippers and after several minutes, Ethan’s wavy locks vanished. Mum, Val, who has MS was very proud and said, “He did it for the Osborne Centre because he knows how beneficial it is for me to come here and he wanted to help.” Ethan’s twin, Thomas, was there to support his brother’s heroic action, which raised a fantastic £330.
Chairman, John Astley added, “He was brilliant doing it for us. I only hope his curls grow back!”
Situated in West Parley, the Osborne Centre is a place where those with MS can meet and enjoy social activities as well as a three-course lunch, cooked on the premises and served in the spacious dining room. There is also a lounge, quiet room, fitness room for physiotherapy, a large garden for the sunny days and a shop selling second-hand items to raise money for the centre. Specially adapted vehicles, driven by volunteers, collect and drop off members to the Osborne Centre which is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9am-3pm.
MS is an illness that can strike at any time and Janine Pulford spoke to Mona at the garden party. She was diagnosed at 15 years old and said, “It’s the way I am and I have to get on with life.” A relapse a few years ago put her in a wheelchair and her last relapse paralysed her right arm. She keeps smiling and visits the Osborne Centre every week.
Barbara Grainger’s story was different. She had been a head of department at a local school when one day she woke up and felt ill. She said, “When MS was diagnosed it changed my life forever.” She had to give up her job and found life tough as the symptoms dragged her down. “The Osborne Centre is very supportive,” she says. “I enjoy coming here.”
The atmosphere at the garden party was relaxed with many stalls including jewellery, plants and handmade cards. Following Ethan’s head shave, there was an exciting display of wheelchair fencing.
The Osborne Centre is the mags4dorset charity of the year. The branch president, Alan Lindsay, writes a column which can be read each month in 4Dorset and Viewpoint magazines. For more details on the Bournemouth Branch call 01202 570300 or visit www.ms-bournemouth.co.uk Volunteers are always required.